MARCUS AMMERMAN WINS BADGER STATE NATIONALS
By Jerry O’Brien
8-20-21 Superior, WI
With only one more night of racing before the “Championship Friday” is upon
us, officials decided to showcase the WISSOTA Hornet division. Hornets are a
completely entry level class of four cylinder cars turned into bare bones race cars.
Drivers who have previously held a WISSOTA licence are not allowed to
participate in the class.
On Friday August 20th a special race was held at Gondik Law Speedway to
showcase the Hornets. Pay for the feature race of 20 laps was supplemented by
donations from fans and local businesses. When the feature event took the four
tenths mile speedway, the payoff for the main event was in excess of $3,100.
Friday also featured our five other WISSOTA Divisions running their AFCO Race
of Champions qualifiers.
After qualifying heat races had set the lineups in all six divisions, after a brief
intermission for some light track grooming, the first of six feature events rolled
onto the newly tweaked surface was for the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. At the
green flag 17 car field jumped into action as former track champion and pole sitter
Andrew Inman took the lead. Outside pole starter Jesse Polson dropped into
second but was immediately challenged by Ryan Savoy. Before this could go any
further, the caution flag flew when Brady Uotinen stopped on the front stretch.
The restart saw Inman tighten his hold on the lead with Savoy, Polson, Shane
Howell and Ashton Schulte tracking him. Inman was equal to the task and pulled
out a slight lead as the rest squabbled amongst themselves. As the race progressed,
Kenny Kincaid joined the group from the fourth row, made his way through to
land at Inman’s bumper. The pair proceeded to take their skirmish out to a
commanding lead. Savoy was third ahead of the battle for position between
Schulte, Dalton Mains, Tanner Gehl and McLean Andrews. The pack was brought
back together when the caution light blinked on for a spin by Josh Johnson in turn
four. On the restart Inman still led but Howell had made his way to second with 11
laps to go and used the restart to get past Inman to the lead. A lap later Inman fell
to Jimmy Latvala with Savoy and Schulte closing. While Howell solidified his
grasp on the lead, Latvala began to close on Howell who began to slowly pull
away until the gap began to become insurmountable and it appeared that time
would run out on Latvla. But fate intervened and Andrews spun the 3m in turn
four. The restart came with just two laps to go but Latvala was unable to reap the
benefits as Howell hung on to take the win, his fourth of the season at Gondik Law
Speedway. Inman, Schulte and Savoy sailed on by moving Latvala back to fifth.
Next up was 20 laps for the WISSOTA Super Stocks a dozen strong. Andrew
Mackey popped out to the point at the initial green flag followed by Andy
Grymala, Shane Sabraski, Kevin Burdick and Brian Carl. Mackey fended off
Sabraski for a couple laps, but Sabraski was relentless in his pursuit of the lead.
Sabraski secured the lead and Kevin Burdick who started sixth, made his waay
forward into second. The front runners proceeded to race away from Mackey who
was by himself ahead of Grymala. Grymala was busy holding back Keith Kern, DJ
Keeler, Dave Flynn and Josh Zimpel. Sabraski simply outran Burdick in the
closing laps to secure his fifth main event win of the season here. Kern, Mackey
and Flynn were the top five in a race that produced no caution flags.
It was to be 25 laps for the WISSOTA Late Models. There was a strong bunch
of Late Models numbering 13 cars. Despite the “Unlucky Number”, only a single
caution flag spoiled the show and that came in the first two laps when Tim Lillo
spun in turn four. Mike Bellefeuille secured the early lead from the outside pole
over point leader Derek Vesel. The restart came and Travis Budiaslovich came out
the leader on the restart. Vesel, Mike Bellefeuille, Jeff Massingill, and Tim
McMann occupied the top five. Budiaslovich had a stranglehold on the lead with
Vesel second. Behind the leading duo, several drivers vied for position including
Terry Lillo, Darrell Nelson and others as the laps continued to click off. Pat Doar
came out of the skirmish as the strongest runner and moved into third behind
Vesel and Budiaslovich which is the order of finish when the laps ran out. Mike
Bellefeuille finished fourth and Massingill finished in the fifth spot. It was
Budiaslovich’s third feature win here this season.
Darrell Nelson started the 20 lap WISSOTA Modified main event from the pole
and never gave up the spot as he went flag to flag for the win. A win that was not
easily secured, however as Al Uotinen had the #98 cooking throughout the event.
Nelson soared out to a commanding lead as he shot off turn two to a big lead over
Bob Broking at the drop of the green. Broking shadowed Nelson early on, but
Uotinen got a good run and set off after Nelson after disposing of Broking. With
no caution flags to break the rhythm, it took a few laps for Uotinen to close up and
began to harass the leader. Uotinen took some peeks high and low but to no avail
as Nelson clung to the spot. Shane Sabraski had worked his way from the seventh
starting spot to third. With three laps to go Sabraski squeezed past Uotinen and
began to pressure Nelson who was equal to the task and won his third feature of
the season at GLS despite all kinds of pressure by Uotinen, then Sabraski. Jody
Bellefeuille and point leader Brandon Copp were the top five.
Ten Pure Stocks doesn’t seem like so many, but they can put on a heck of a
show, that is if they can ever get started. Track point leader Cory Jorgensen
blasted off from the pole to a wide lead but Jessie Limberios spun the #131 in turn
two. The restart came with none of the 12 laps in the books. The restart saw
Jorgensen pick right up where he left off…blazing away from the field. Jared
Akervik blew into second from sixth with Tim Carlson in third ahead of Nate Rose
and Trevor Treviranus. Carlson spun in turn two bringing out caution flag number
two. The restart came with five laps remaining. At the restart Jorgensen resumed
running away from the rest of t he field with Akervik held on for dear life in
second. Akervik managed to take second from Treviranus themprarily, but
Treviranus came back to secure second. Jorgensen completed his run in front over
Treviranus, Akervik, Nate Rose and Anthony Woodhull. It was the second in a
row for Jorgensen at GLS.
The finale was the awaited “Big Bucks” 20 lap Hornet confrontation. 20
Hornets starting a feature event eight laps longer than the usual 12 for a purse
swollen with extra cash from other sources.
As possibly suspected, more cars plus more money equals more trouble.
Marcus Ammerman took the lead from the outside pole but two laps in a debris
call slowed the action. The restart came with 18 laps to go. Ammerman again
assumed the lead but another caution flag for the #81 of Alex Reilly flew.
Ammerman continued in the lead at the green tracked by Tyler Schramm and Jase
Wiarda. Just a lap or so later the caution flag flew when Casey Fitzpatrick got
caught up with a couple of cars and scraped the front stretch wall. Fitzpatrick
continued on but the restart came with 14 laps to the finish. At this point Carson
Goetelaere was up to the fifth spot from 20th. He had missed his heat because he
was busy Quarterbacking the Superior Senior Highschool Football team in a home
game. After the game he hustled the few miles from the football field to the race
track and started the event from the back row. Just past the half way mark caution
number four came out when Schramm’s #16 retired from competition. Wiarda
supplanted Schramm in second at the restart, Fitzpatrick was third and DeJay
Jarecki was fourth just ahead of Goetelaere in fifth. Ammerman went on to take
the big win in the special, led ‘em all for the big check. It was his first ever feature
win and it turned out to be a big one.